Gilbert Smith Forest Products

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Our History & Growth

Gilbert SmithThe Smith family has a long history in the valley in the cedar pole business. The current company was established in 1955 by Gilbert Smith and his family, Gilbert Smith Forest Products Ltd. was originally a pole plant located in Barriere, B.C. In 1957 GSFP shipped over 13,000 cedar poles and many more pine poles and fir piling to sites across Canada and the U.S. In 1962 a motorized pole peeler was purchased to produce up to 11,000 lineal feet in an 8 hour shift.

In 1967, a portable sawmill was purchased and set up on site and in 1968, the pole plant restructured into a cedar sawmill to utilize the whole cedar log with minimum waste.  In 1969 a planer was purchased to plane and ship carloads of lumber.                    

In 1980 one of the largest single arbour gang edger’s ever built was installed with the capability of processing everything from a 1x4 to ganging a 12 inch cant to 2x12’s as well as being able to do large timbers 8” high and widths up to 16”with no saw step. This helps us in being more diversified to supply new markets. 

In 2004 a small log line was installed and the bucking line was modified to distribute logs of various diameters to different machine centers such as either of the two debarkers, log yard, storage decks, head rig and the new HewSaw R200. The HewSaw R200 is a highly advanced 3 dimensional optimized machine center that calculates a solution, rotates and positions, and then makes all the size adjustments on the fly based on value and recovery. With these upgrades the sawmill experienced an increase in production by 20 – 25% and was able to see a very respectable gain in recovery.   New planer and trimming installation enables us to effectively do a cut in two that targets 4 square 8’ products along with other re-man programs for 4’, 5’, 6’ and 10'-16', lengths.

Carman SmithTed SmithThe driving force behind the growth and development of the company centers around two brothers, Ted and Carman Smith. Ted focused on the growth of sales and developing products while Carman focused on fiber security and innovative forestry practices. Both brothers took a keen interest in the expansion of the mill with numerous capital projects over the years and nothing was more exciting than getting a good buy on a piece of equipment at the sawmill auction. 

While Ted and Carman have retired from the day to day operations of the company, they still come in and check up on things as well as play an active role on the board of directors along with their other brother Bob.